"BRISBANE – Out of ‘Moreton Bay’" Brisbane by tiabunna
Brisbane Travel Guide: 1,719 reviews and 3,877 photos
and penal stations of New South Wales,
To Moreton Bay I have found no equal;
excessive tyranny each day prevails….”
Those words from an anonymous old Australian folk-song written by a convict lamenting the tough conditions at Moreton Bay (the name of the original convict settlement), take us back to Brisbane’s less than auspicious beginnings. With a combination of rapid development, busy modern lifestyles and a tendency to ignore history, Brisbane’s early days are often forgotten. The initial convict settlement was set up at Redcliffe in 1824, but soon was moved to the current site of Brisbane. At the time there even was a proposal to call the new settlement ’Edenglassie’, perish the thought!
Until February 1842 free settlers were prohibited from approaching within 50 miles of the penal station. Finally, later that year, it was declared a free settlement with the name Brisbane Town – and development based on agriculture and pastoralism commenced. But it remained part of New South Wales. Not until 1859 was Queensland proclaimed as a separate colony, with Brisbane as the capital. In 1860, Brisbane still had just six thousand residents!
Brisbane now is Australia’s third largest city, with a population of about 2 million and maybe 2.5 million in the wider metropolitan area. It is growing rapidly and (in my opinion) is changing more and faster than any other Australian city. Locals often call it “Brissie”, but lately you’ll sometimes see it called ’Brisvegas’, presumably because it now hosts a casino: I rather feel that if a parallel to an American city must be made (God knows why!), ’Brisangeles’ would be more appropriate, given the way it now sprawls out (the wider Brisbane area is over 4500 sq km).
I should find it easy to do a Brisbane page: I grew up there after all. But that was many years ago when suburban trains were pulled by steam engines; an extensive tram network provided most public transport; the City Hall tower was the highest building; and it was essentially a big country town. All of which not only categorises me as positively prehistoric, but also suggests you might care to visit a VT page from a current “Brissie” local.
If you are proposing to visit Australia and wish to do something other than the usual “Sydney/Ayers Rock/Barrier Reef” package trip, Brisbane would make a great starting point. Quite apart from the city itself, the surrounding area has some great attractions. A final point for overseas visitors. The name is pronounced Bris/b'n, not Bris-bANE: nothing sets the locals' teeth on edge faster than the latter!
- Pros:A lovely setting on the river, between Moreton Bay and the ranges.
- Cons:Summers can test your tolerance of heat and humidity
- In a nutshell:Arguably a great alternative starting point for an Australian visit.
As with quite a few Australian airports, Brisbane has separate international and domestic terminals. These are separated... more travel advice
Moreton Bay is fronted by three large sand islands, from the north they are Bribie (accessible by bridge), Moreton... more travel advice
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